Tag Archives: Costa Rican Profile

No Leaks This Season / Sin fugas esta temporada




If you follow our blog, you may remember Vera. Vera is on the staff at Instituto Estelar where she does an amazing job of keeping our school clean and beautiful. She is a single mom who works very hard to provide for her family. Her two children are happy, healthy, and able to attend English classes at our institute thanks to generous donators who want to help them improve their situation.

Vera is very humble and does not like to ask for help. However, with the rainy season upon us, she found that her house has various leaks and is prone to flooding. Although her home is basically made of simple sheet metal, it is surprisingly expensive to buy the materials necessary to fix the problems. The repairs, which come out to be about $400, are much more than she can afford.

Please help fix Vera’s house! Even a small donation can make a big difference for Vera and her children. If you are able to help, please contact us at info@estelarcr.com to find out how you can give.


Si usted sigue nuestros blog, recordarás a Vera. Vera es el personal en el Instituto Estelar donde ella hace un trabajo increíble de mantener nuestra escuela limpia y hermosa. Ella es una madre soltera que trabaja muy duro para mantener a su familia. Sus dos hijos son felices, saludables y puedan asistir a clases de inglés en nuestro Instituto gracias a generosos donantes que desean ayudarles a mejorar su situación.

Vera es muy humilde y no le gusta pedir ayuda. Sin embargo, con la temporada de lluvias sobre nosotros, ella encontró que su casa tiene varias filtraciones y es propensa a las inundaciones. Aunque su casa está básicamente hecha de chapa simple, es sorprendentemente caro comprar los materiales necesarios para solucionar los problemas. Las reparaciones, que vienen a ser unos 400 dólares, son mucho más de lo que puede permitir.

Por favor ayude a arreglar la casa de Vera. Incluso una pequeña donación puede hacer una gran diferencia para Vera y sus hijos. Si eres capaz de ayudar, por favor contáctenos en info@estelarcr.com para averiguar cómo usted puede donar.


Our English students are the best!

We are very proud to display more writing from our high intermediate English students, Yuran and Dinia. Their teachers submitted their writing to be published on this blog. Happy reading, and congratulations to these excellent students!

Memorable experience – Yuran

I’m going to tell about one of my best experiences.  It was when I was just 6 years old and I really liked the race car. I liked seeing car competitions on tv. My dad at that time participated in motorcycle racing and I started my experience with adrenaline. My dad took me to see racing in guacima highway and you have no idea I liked me to see to those cars close. My uncle brought a mini car from USA and I thought I will could use this car the front of my garage only for practices.

One day my dad told me we were going out to visit my grandparents and that was a lie because it was not going to be right there. It was a surprise to take me to a place where they had a highway. I was very happy I could not believe that. Then I went every weekend to practice because my intention was to have the goal…a professional competition but I knew it was a effort to training and could do it. When I was 7 and participate this competition, I remember it was a Sunday and I was very nervous to see this place so full. The first laps I feel good during the race and I had confidence. Not win the competition but I really enjoyed.  I remember I had the tv interviews and photos with all other participants. I could not continue to participate because it is very expensive sport and had to study. Also participate in motorcycle rally car events and water 4×4 when had more age.



Yuran is the student sitting on the left side of teacher Nate. This is his English class at Instituto Estelar Bilingüe in Liberia, Costa Rica.

Trip Unforgettable – Dinia

This Easter week was wonderful because my boyfriend and me had 1 week off. So we planning visit different parts of Costa Rica that didn’t know before. We coordinate all necessary for the trip many weeks before because we wanted  that it was cheap, so we had to planning all very well. First I rented a car 1 month before, them I looked basic information and advice about the places to visit, and I coordinate the travel route. The places that were in our plans were: Zoological Tempisque, Barra Honda Caves and National Park Tenorio. For visit our first place we preparing: A car, cash, back pack, comfortable shoes for long hiking, food and beverage, repellent, sunblock, hat and camera. Zoological Tempisque is located in Rosario downtown. The way is long and most of the street doesn´t has good conditions, only from Liberia to Nicoya  there is paved street. When we arrive the tourist guide brings us the welcome and the tour.

This place open daily from 9am to 4pm. In this place we can see variety of wild animals like: Tapir, Scarlet Macaws, Monkeys, Emus, Ocelots, Small mountain tiger, crocodiles, Green iguanas, capibaras, Boa constrictors, Guatuzas, Tepezcuintle, danta, White tail deer and others.

To visit Tempisque Safari is an unforgettable experience, not only because you can observe and photograph an impressive variety of wild animals in their natural hábitat, but you can also interact with many of them.

Next day we went to visit Barra Honda Caves, for visit this place we prepared confortable and fresh cloth, shoes for long hiking, sunblock, camera and a lot water. Barra Honda is unique among the National Parks of Costa Rica its main attraction is an intricate large system of limestone cavers wich has a multitude of forms and figures. Before that people believed that Barra Honda was a volcano because they misinterpreted the whirring of bat wings for volcanic activity, and the aroma of guano for sulfur. The calcareous formation of the limestone caverns at the park are the main visitor attraction, wich are only estimated to be 50% explored. This place its really magic.

After that our final stop will be Tenorio National Park were we can find Rios Celeste.

The main visitor attraction there is Rio Celeste. Tenorio Volcano National Park a trip here involves a moderately challenging, but for me, was a big challenging of 3hrs hike through parks secondary forest, an effort that is well worth the trip. Two rivers merge into one at borbollones, a confluence where the minerals from the river and volcano meet and create the famous blue color. (sulfur and calcium carbonate). In addition to the colorful attraction of the water the river also has several thermal hot springs and a large waterfall. All the places that visit were wonderful, I recommended go to visit.


Dinia is the student standing up! This is her English class with Sharai from California at Instituto Estelar Bilingüe.

7 Pros and Cons of Being a Teacher in Costa Rica

You live in Costa Rica – the most obvious pro is that you have the opportunity to live in an amazing place with beautiful beaches, national parks, waterfalls, and volcanoes to explore. You don’t live in your own country– it’s not easy to leave everything you know behind. Although you are living in an exquisite country, you are not in your own country and this can be difficult at times.
You get to meet people and make new friends – living in Costa Rica and traveling around Central America gives you the chance to meet people that you never would have met if you had stayed in your home country. You don’t get to see your old friends regularly – although Skype and Facebook make it possible to stay in touch with your good friends back home, it can be difficult at times because you can’t see them on a regular basis.
You have the chance to learn Spanish – although your job is 100% in English, everything else around you isn’t. This makes it easier to learn Spanish because you are not only immersed in it, but you need it at times to get what you want and need. You have to be patient to learn Spanish – learning Spanish takes time and it can be difficult, especially at the beginning, to understand. Hearing announcements, reading signs, and talking to people are some things that can make you feel nervous or uncomfortable when you don’t speak or understand very much of the language.
The weather – even in the rainy season, Costa Rica is always warm. Sweaters and jackets are rarely needed, whereas shorts and tank tops are always appropriate. The weather – there are days in Liberia when the heat is unbearable. Usually it is a dry heat, but during changing seasons, the humidity and heat make it difficult to sleep, walk to work, or go anywhere without a fan.
Expenses – things like rent, water and electricity, and traveling by bus are cheap when compared to prices in United States or Canada. Expenses – Costa Rica is quite expensive compared to the surrounding Latin American countries. This can make it difficult to save money. Things like food, clothes, shoes, and personal items are overpriced and often lack the quality that you would expect for paying such a high price. 
You can try new foods – moving to a new country gives you the opportunity to try the foods from the culture. You can also learn to cook typical dishes and add them into your recipe book to use now and in the future.  You may have to give up some culinary favorites – Some foods that you love may not be available here. If they are available, they may cost more than you are used to paying. While there are some very delicious foods in Costa Rica, the selection is different than what you might find in the United States or Canada.
You are able to live a very simple, carefree life – Costa Rica offers a pura vida lifestyle that makes it possible to relax and live a slow-paced life. You may get addicted to the simplicity – the longer our teachers stay in Costa Rica, the harder it can be for them to return to their home country.

What our teachers have to say:

Carrie: “Teaching in Costa Rica makes you feel like part of the community. There’s a great cultural exchange between the teachers and students that’s a lot of fun for everyone. Also, beaches!!!”

Stephanie: “It’s an amazing, beautiful place to live with nice people. But it’s so hot!”

Nate: “There is no better way to learn a language. It truly is an adventure.”

Sharai: “I love living in Costa Rica! Teaching is fun and it feels good to watch your students advance. I am worried though that I will never leave – I have already extended my stay 6 months!”

Kate: “Living and teaching in Costa Rica has been an adventure, for sure, but acclimating and adjusting to the culture was seamless; the people here have been warm and welcoming and while I may be over 3,000 miles from where I grew up, I’ve never felt as at home as I do in Costa Rica.”

Adam: “It’s definitely an immersive experience in a welcoming culture.  Teaching English in this environment is incredible – you feel useful and driven to give as much as you get.”

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Usted vive en Costa Rica – el más evidente  pro es que tiene la oportunidad de vivir en un sitio increíble, con hermosas playas, parques nacionales, cascadas y volcanes para explorar. Usted no vive en su propio país– no es fácil dejar atrás todo lo que conoce. A pesar de que vivirá en un exquisito país, no se encontrara en su propio país y esto puede ser difícil a veces. 
Llegar a conocer  gente y hacer nuevos amigos – viviendo en Costa Rica y viajando por América Central le da la oportunidad de conocer  gente que nunca habría conocido si se hubiera quedado en su país de origen. No puede ver a sus viejos amigos con regularidad – aunque con Skype y Facebook  es posible estar en contacto con sus amigos en casa, puede ser difícil a veces porque no se les puede ver personalmente.
Usted tiene la oportunidad de aprender español – aunque su trabajo es del 100% en inglés, todo lo demás que lo rodea no lo es. Esto hace que sea más fácil  aprender español, porque no sólo está inmerso en la cultura, también  necesita hablarlo para obtener lo que necesita y desea. Usted tiene que ser paciente para aprender español – aprender español lleva tiempo y puede ser difícil, sobre todo al principio. Cosas como entender  anuncios y rótulos,  hablar  con las personas  y lograr entenderles son algunas cosas que le pueden hacer sentirse nervioso o incómodo.
El tiempo – incluso en la temporada de lluvias, Costa Rica siempre es cálido. Suéteres y chaquetas raramente son necesarios en Liberia, mientras que los pantalones cortos y camisetas siempre son apropiados.  El tiempo – hay días en Liberia, que el calor es insoportable. Suele ser un calor seco, pero durante el cambio de estaciones, la humedad y el calor hacen difícil dormir, caminar al trabajo o ir a ninguna parte sin un ventilador.
Gastos – cosas como alquiler, agua, electricidad y viajar en bus son cosas baratas en comparación con los precios en Estados Unidos o Canadá. Gastos – Costa Rica es bastante caro en comparación con los países circundantes de América Latina. Esto puede hacer difícil ahorrar dinero. Cosas como alimentos, ropa, zapatos y objetos personales son demasiado caros y a menudo carecen de la calidad que usted esperaría para pagar por un precio tan alto.
Usted puede probar nuevos alimentos vivir en un país nuevo le da la oportunidad de probar los alimentos de la cultura. También  puede aprender a cocinar platos típicos y agregarlos a su libro de recetas!  Es posible que tenga que renunciar a algunas especialidades culinarias – Algunos alimentos que le gustan pueden no estar disponibles aquí. Si están disponibles, pueden costar más de lo que usted está acostumbrado a pagar. Si bien hay comidas deliciosas en Costa Rica, la selección es diferente a lo que se puede encontrar en los Estados Unidos o Canadá.
Usted es capaz de vivir una simple y despreocupada vida – Costa Rica ofrece una pura vida que hace posible relajarse y vivir  a un lento ritmo de vida. Usted puede ser adicto a la vida simple – entre más tiempo nuestros profesores permanecen en Costa Rica, más difícil es que quieran volver a su país de origen.


Lo que cuentan nuestros maestros:

Carrie: “Enseñar en Costa Rica te hace sentir como parte de la comunidad. Hay un gran intercambio cultural entre los profesores y estudiantes que es un montón de diversión para todos. Además, las playas!!!!!!”

Stephanie: “Es un lugar increíble, hermoso para vivir con gente agradable. ¡Pero qué calor!”
Nate: “No hay una mejor manera de aprender un idioma. Verdaderamente es una aventura.”
Sharai: “Me encanta vivir en Costa Rica. Enseñar es divertido y se siente bien ver a sus estudiantes avanzar. Me preocupa sin embargo que no voy a querer  irme – ya he ampliado mi estadía 6 meses!”
Kate: “Vivir y enseñar  en Costa Rica ha sido una aventura! Pero para adaptarme a la cultura y a la gente fue súper fácil; la gente aquí es muy cálida y acogedora. Y aunque este a  más de 3.000 millas del lugar donde nací y crecí, nunca me he sentido  en casa como lo hago en Costa Rica.”
Adam: “Definitivamente es una experiencia de inmersión en una cultura acogedora. Enseñar inglés en este ambiente es increíble, uno se siente impulsado a dar más de lo que puede y se siente súper  útil.”


Helping Kids in our Community / Ayudando a niños de la comunidad

Learning English can help improve a Costa Rican’s future. At Instituto Estelar, we want to help make English classes available to children who want to learn but need help paying for the materials to do so.

Vera is a single mother living in a low-income neighborhood, and she wants her children to learn English so that they can have better lives and improve their situation. Her six year-old daughter, Keiryn, and eight year-old son, Densel, are eager to study English and have been asking to take classes for some time.

We recently enrolled Keiryn and Densel into our kids program and gave them scholarships to cover their monthly tuition. An organization that gives shoes to needy children, Souls Helping Soles, will be giving them new shoes to wear to school and future English classes. However, we still need help paying for their books. The books cost 30.000 colones and we already have 10.000 in donations.

You can help send these stellar children to school with the materials they need!

If you are interested in donating, please contact the director, Bethany, at Info@estelarcr.com or 2665-6921. Thank you so much for helping us give this opportunity to local children!

Vera, showed here with her two full-scholarship children in Instituto Estelar Bilingüe’s Kid’s English Program, works hard to keep our campus clean.

Aprender inglés puede mejorar el futuro de los costarricenses. En el Instituto Estelar, queremos que clases de inglés sean accesibles a los niños que quieren aprender, pero necesitamos ayuda en pagar los materiales de clase.

Vera es una madre soltera que vive en Nazareth de Liberia, y ella quiere que sus hijos aprendan inglés para que tengan un mejor nivel de vida y mejoren su situación. Su hija de seis años, Keiryn, e hijo de ocho años, Densel, han tenido ganas de estudiar inglés con nosotros.

Recientemente se matricularon Densel y Keiryn en nuestro programa para niños y les hemos dado becas completas para pagar sus mensualidades. Una organización que da zapatos a niños de recursos bajos que se llama Souls Helping Soles les va a dar zapatos nuevos para usar en las clases de inglés. Sin embargo, todavía necesitan ayuda para pagar sus libros. Los libros cuestan 30.000 colones y ya tenemos 10.000 en donaciones.

Usted puede ayudar a estos estudiantes estelares con los materiales que necesitan.

Si usted está interesado en colaborar, por favor comuníquese con la directora, Bethany, en Info@estelarcr.com o 2665-6921. ¡Muchas gracias por ayudarnos a dar la oportunidad a los niños de Liberia!

A Truly Stellar Student – Un estudiante estrella del estelar

Learning a new language takes time, commitment, and a lot of self-motivation. At Estelar, we like to recognize those who display these qualities from start to finish. Melvin Hernandez Arias, a 28 year old English student from Nicaragua, is one of those people. Melvin began studying at Instituto Estelar Bilingüe in 2012 in the very first level, where he learned beginner vocabulary and grammar. This week he started Advanced Low 2 – the final level of our basic English program! Not only is he the only student from his original beginner class that is finishing the entire program, but he has done so with excellent grades and stellar dedication. In addition to studying, he works very hard as a street vendor and regularly attends our Spanglish social. Melvin is a perfect example of a hard-working student and we are so proud of all of his accomplishments. Congratulations, Melvin!


Aprender un idioma nuevo requiere tiempo, compromiso y mucha motivación. En el Estelar, nos gusta reconocer a los estudiantes que tengan estas cualidades. Melvin Hernández Arias, nuestro estudiante de inglés de 28 años de Nicaragua, es una de esas personas. Melvin empezó a estudiar en el Instituto Estelar Bilingüe en 2012 en el primer nivel, donde aprendió gramática y vocabulario para principiantes. Esta semana empezó el nivel Avanzado Bajo 2 – ¡el ultimo nivel de nuestro programa básico de inglés! No sólo es el único estudiante que empezó con él en el primer curso que está terminando todo el programa, sino que lo ha hecho con excelentes notas y dedicación estelar. Además de estudiar, trabaja muy duro como vendedor ambulante y asiste regularmente a nuestro Spanglish social. Melvin es un estudiante ejemplar y estamos muy orgullosos de todos sus logros. ¡Felicidades, Melvin!

Tribute to Melody


One of Melody’s spectacular murals!

We have some very special people come through the big blue front door of our historic house that is Instituto Estelar Bilingüe, and I would like to honor a specific young woman who spent a year coming through that door to teach English classes. She is one of the most creative and effective teachers that I have had the privilege of working with: Melody Smith.

Melody left her mark in both subtle and obvious ways, and we will always think of her whenever we feast our eyes on her colorful, vibrant murals that she, with the help of our young English students, painted on the exterior walls of the school. She also was extremely generous with her time, volunteering to lead several school activities every week.



Melody led Estrellitas Kid’s Reading Club every week and often volunteered to run the weekly English Conversation Club as well.

We wish her all the best in the world and hope she comes back to visit in the future!


Read about the Pura Vida in Costa Rica!

Read about the Pura Vida in Costa Rica!

If you’re interested in moving to Costa Rica to live and either study or work, you might want to check out this blog: http://www.vitaconstancia.com/  In fact, the author has recently published an article about the founding director of Instituto Estelar Bilingüe, Bethany Kirk. Happy reading!